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UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA Flex Program
Initiated in Fall of 2012, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management is offering a new component to their Fully Employed MBA program (FEMBA). The newly designed FEMBA Flex program creates a schedule to combine the benefits of on-campus and online learning for fully employed students who are not able to routinely attend classes on campus.
Hybrid courses in Anderson’s FEMBA Flex courses are catered to the working student who must balance a busy work life with academics by combining the convenience of online learning with the traditional classroom experience. Innovative online tools such as webinars, web-based lectures, web-based group work, online interactive videos, and web-assisted learning tools allow students to experience the education of a top MBA program such as Anderson on their own schedule and in their own comfort.
FEMBA Flex students are required to attend classroom courses at the UCLA Anderson campus four weekends per 10-week quarter in addition to their online work to help maintain the uniqueness of in-person classroom interaction. These weekend segments will begin on Saturday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. and conclude on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. The hours of learning allow students to arrive at their leisure, by car or plane, bypassing lengthy commutes and helping students to maintain competency and commitment in their full-time job. As such, FEMBA Flex will bridge geography, opening Anderson to a much wider array of potential students from various states and backgrounds.
The opportunities for collaboration with fellow students through FEMBA Flex are equally represented. Flex students form study groups to sustain the Anderson student community and meet both in-person at weekend classes and online through file sharing and live remote meetings. Additionally, Flex students are able to interact with the same faculty and staff as traditional EMBA students and standard Anderson MBA students. Professors are readily available to Flex students through a wide range of communication modes which include email, phone, web chats, discussion boards, and web conferences.
While the usage of hybrid courses similar to FEMBA Flex are relatively new to top academic institutions, a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, a consultancy firm focused on the application of technology in teaching, has found that no significant difference exists between hybrid courses and traditional courses. Because hybrid courses are often more cost effective, accessible, and have thus far been shown to be equally effective, their use to create a greater use of the resources of higher education shows enormous potential.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com